How sign language can create an inclusive learning environment
It’s rare that you go into a Reception classroom to be greeted by absolute silence. But at Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield it’s a regular sight.
That’s because the children are learning British Sign Language (BSL). Every pupil at the school has weekly classes in sign language and this has had a number of benefits for all the children, not just for those with additional needs.
Dani Lang, headteacher at Brimsdown, says: “We have a high number of English as an additional language (EAL) learners and we find that BSL creates a really inclusive learning environment for everyone. It helps children to communicate with their friends and their teachers, and it can actually help with both language and speech development too.”
Dani adds: “We have children and staff at the school with hearing difficulties and it makes the environment so inclusive and supportive. The children love learning sign language and the lessons are amazing to watch as they’re practically in silence.”
The school offers free sign language lessons to staff and parents. It has been recognised as an accredited hearing impairment resource base for 10 years by Signature, the leading awarding body for deaf communications qualifications in the UK. In September, staff were presented with a certificate and plaque to mark this milestone.
Brimsdown offers evening classes on Wednesdays for anyone in the local community who wants to learn this skill. Learners can gain their Level 1 and 2 awards in BSL. A fee is payable for this. For more information, please contact the school.